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Silas Omohundro's Enslaved Common Law Wife

Bequest to Corinna Hinton

This signed and sealed legal memorandum, dated July 29, 1864, states that Corinna Omohundro, also known as Corinna Hinton, is the recipient of four slaves—Polly, Lavinia, Thomas, and Mariah—purchased for her that day by Richard Cooper. The agreement states that the slaves would remain in the possession of Cooper until the transaction was legally completed. Cooper was the executor for the estate of Silas Omohundro, a Richmond slave trader who died earlier that month. Hinton was his enslaved concubine whom he never legally married but sometimes treated publicly as his wife. They have five children who suvived to adulthood. In his will, Omohundro set free Hinton and their children; he also left virtually his entire estate to her. Virginia refused to recognize a marriage between a free and an enslaved person, however, and denied Hinton the right to inherit under the terms of Omohundro's will. The estate was not settled until the 1880s.

Created: July 29, 1864

Medium: Legal memorandum

Courtesy of Library of Virginia

Slave Sale Receipts

These receipts record the sale of four slaves—Polly, Lavinia, Thomas, and Mariah—on July 29, 1864, for prices ranging from $3,100 to $5,500. These extraordinarily high prices reflect the rampant inflation at the time and the imminent collapse of the Confederate banking system. J. S. Eggborn sold the slaves to Richard Cooper, the executor of the estate of Silas Omohundro, a Richmond slave trader who had died earlier that month. Cooper purchased the slaves for Corinna Hinton, Omohundro's enslaved concubine. The slaves were to be part of her inheritance, but it is uncertain whether she actually ever took possession of them. Virginia, which refused to recognize a marriage between a free and an enslaved person, denied Hinton the right to inherit under the terms of her husband's will. The estate was not settled until the 1880s.

Original Author: J. S. Eggborn

Created: July 29, 1864

Medium: Receipt

Courtesy of Library of Virginia

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  • Bequest to Corinna Hinton

    This signed and sealed legal memorandum, dated July 29, 1864, states that Corinna Omohundro, also known as Corinna Hinton, is the recipient of four slaves—Polly, Lavinia, Thomas, and Mariah—purchased for her that day by Richard Cooper. The agreement states that the slaves would remain in the possession of Cooper until the transaction was legally completed. Cooper was the executor for the estate of Silas Omohundro, a Richmond slave trader who died earlier that month. Hinton was his enslaved concubine whom he never legally married but sometimes treated publicly as his wife. They have five children who suvived to adulthood. In his will, Omohundro set free Hinton and their children; he also left virtually his entire estate to her. Virginia refused to recognize a marriage between a free and an enslaved person, however, and denied Hinton the right to inherit under the terms of Omohundro's will. The estate was not settled until the 1880s.

    Created: July 29, 1864

    Medium: Legal memorandum

    Courtesy of Library of Virginia

  • Slave Sale Receipts

    These receipts record the sale of four slaves—Polly, Lavinia, Thomas, and Mariah—on July 29, 1864, for prices ranging from $3,100 to $5,500. These extraordinarily high prices reflect the rampant inflation at the time and the imminent collapse of the Confederate banking system. J. S. Eggborn sold the slaves to Richard Cooper, the executor of the estate of Silas Omohundro, a Richmond slave trader who had died earlier that month. Cooper purchased the slaves for Corinna Hinton, Omohundro's enslaved concubine. The slaves were to be part of her inheritance, but it is uncertain whether she actually ever took possession of them. Virginia, which refused to recognize a marriage between a free and an enslaved person, denied Hinton the right to inherit under the terms of her husband's will. The estate was not settled until the 1880s.

    Original Author: J. S. Eggborn

    Created: July 29, 1864

    Medium: Receipt

    Courtesy of Library of Virginia